FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — With the holidays right around the corner, many people are looking for those special gifts for friends and family. One place shoppers here can turn to is the on-post Thrift Shop, which has the added benefit of giving back to the community.
According to Thrift Shop Manager Michele Evans, anyone with access to the installation is welcome as a customer, and all funds from sales go back into the military community by way of scholarships and grants — the generated profits can also serve as emergency funding in the event of a natural disaster in the community.
“Last fiscal year, the store sold more than 60,000 items, which allowed the store to distribute almost $100,000,” Evans said.
For regular customer and self-proclaimed competitive Thrift Shop shopper Heidi Schuh, whose husband retired from the Army Reserve after 28 years of service, that is an added incentive to shop there.
“I feel the money raised here goes to good causes,” Schuh said. “Anything military related, I’m going to support.”
Besides helping support the community, Schuh said the deals she finds there are second to none.
“I look for everything when I come in here,” she said.
Evans said new items are added to the shelves throughout the day, so the inventory is always changing — and the store can be an excellent resource for families on a budget who are looking to decorate or find gifts for loved ones.
“I love when people come in and get excited because they’re able to get something name brand at an affordable price,” she said.
Items can go quickly, especially once posted on the store’s Facebook page, something Evans said she works to do daily. The store will not hold items — it is first come, first served — which can make things a little exciting when a popular item is advertised.
Schuh said she carefully watches the store’s social media page for updates, and some days, she rushes to be the first in line for an item when the store opens.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” she said.
While she doesn’t want to share all her thrifting secrets, Schuh offered a small piece of advice for fellow shoppers looking to score a popular item.
“Get here early,” she said.
The Thrift Shop is located in Bldg. 493 on Replacement Avenue, and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays after a military pay day.